Page 569 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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these ominous amendment bills. I look forward to the results of the admin and procedure committee inquiry when it looks at this particular question. I wish them all the very best in their exercise. Thank you, members.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee


MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (10.43): I move:

That the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure inquire into and report on strengthening the Commissioner for Standards’ role by streamlining the referrals process for complaints against MLAs.

Over the course of the last three Assemblies consecutive Labor governments have established and enshrined robust integrity mechanisms to ensure that public trust in government is maintained at a very high standard. A strong integrity framework is vital if the Legislative Assembly is to be effective in serving the ACT. The community has a high expectation of us as their elected representatives. As members of the Legislative Assembly we are rightly held to high standards of accountability and integrity.

If we are not able to demonstrate the integrity of our actions, the community would be quite justified in withdrawing the trust that it has placed in us. When the Assembly adopted the Latimer House principles on the three branches of government, it committed to a number of principles, including the entrenchment of good governance based on the highest standards of honesty, probity and accountability.

Adoption of these principles also includes a commitment to develop, adopt and periodically review appropriate guidelines for ethical government. One branch of the integrity framework was the introduction of the Assembly Commissioner for Standards in 2013. The commissioner was empowered through a continuing resolution of the Assembly to investigate allegations of misconduct against MLAs. Dr Ken Crispin QC was appointed to this position in March 2014.

Madam Speaker, the Commissioner for Standards has exercised the assigned functions in a diligent, impartial and effective manner since his appointment. The Labor Party went to the 2016 election with a promise to the people of Canberra to further reinforce the core principles of integrity in government by establishing an Independent Integrity Commission, by strengthening the role of the Auditor-General and by strengthening the role of the Commissioner for Standards.

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